I am so, so excited to share Bella Key with you! I’m even more excited that author Scarlet Chastain is here today to share with us why she writes F/F romance “for women, about women”. I love a sexy alpha male and a book boyfriend as much as the next girl. But, I love my book girlfriends, too! Don’t forget to read my review and an excerpt from the book…
Take it away, Scarlet…
Sizzling romance for women, about women…
This is the tagline I chose for my new pseudonym, Scarlet Chastain. You see, I also write M/F under Sandra Bunino where the first part of the phrase fits perfectly. Sandra writes oh-so-sexy Alpha heroes who sweep their heroines off their feet. I’ve covered delicious Doms in my Satin Rose Experience series. Men like club owner, Asher Cane, CIA agent, Jackson Reid, and motorcycle riding Wall Street wizard, Braxton Malone, know exactly what they want and stop at nothing to get it. I love these types of men and enjoy writing their journey to an explosive HEA.
Scarlet’s stories are a little, well, different. That’s where the “about women” comes into play. One look at my cover will tell you Scarlet Chastain writes female/female erotic romance. Whoa. Really?
Yes. Really. I’m proud to be a fan of F/F. However, while quality M/F, menage and M/M erotic romances are easy to find. F/F fans have to dig to find lesbian stories with well developed characters and a great story. Much of this sub-genre is filled with books heavy on the sex and light on the story. I can’t help but think of those books as being geared toward the male reader.
Men and women follow the same four stages of sexual arousal; excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution but we get there in different ways. Men tend to react to physical cues and experience sexual desire more spontaneously. Women, on the other hand, tend to react to their circumstances. That’s why there’s a direct correlation between the quality of a woman’s relationship with her partner and her feelings of sexual attraction. We understand each other on a deeper level.
That deeper level is what prompted me to write F/F. I love exploring those additional layers of emotion unique to a female/female relationship. However, I can’t stress enough that Bella Key is first and foremost a love story. It just happens the main characters are both women.
So whether you read F/F, are F/F-curious, or just enjoy a heartfelt love story, check out Bella Key. Who knows? You just may find a new sub-genre to love!
About the Book:
Maddie Jacobs must be crazy. At least that’s what her mother thinks. Professionally, she’s confident and secure; personally, she’s a hot mess. Not even a marriage proposal from a man who adores her can quell her search for something more
In need of an escape, Maddie flees to Key West’s most southern island, Bella Key, to rest and recharge at Casa Bonita. She almost gives up on weekend retreat when the Bed & Breakfast is closed for repairs until Sunny Rojas, the inn owner, extends an offer of friendship, sweet tea and a room. Still reeling from a breakup with her longtime partner, Sunny is thankful for the diversion from her own broken heart.
The arrival of a fierce storm forces the women’s emotional journey to a head and leads them into each other’s arms. But can Maddie throw her hangups to the wind and go with her heart? The magic of Bella Key teaches her that passion cannot be placed neatly into boxes labeled right and wrong, because love knows no boundaries
My Rating: 5 Stars
A quick, easy, and breezy read, Bella Key is a warm, sexy, emotional, and heartfelt romance. When Maddie takes a quickie vacation to Bella Key, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever, and her secret fantasies are about to come true.
Chastain does a beautiful job of creating the chemistry between two women. There’s an easy friendship and connection, tinged with plenty of sexual longing and desire. It isn’t long before Maddie and Sunny act on their growing feelings for one another, resulting in beautifully written, sensual and passionate love scenes.
The story itself is entertaining and engaging, with a dash of humor, plenty of romance, and just enough conflict: brought on by Maddie’s questioning of her own desires and sexual identity. The setting is beautiful and magical, a place where people go to find contentment and their true selves. People like famous romance author Jules Quigley, whose character I absolutely adore, and just so happens to hold the key to Sunny and Maddie’s future. A lovely HEA tops off a story to be enjoyed by all romance fans.
” ‘Feelings and emotions can’t always be placed neatly in little boxes. Straight and gay are simply labels we place upon ourselves. Happiness is what we all strive for. Open your mind to what and who makes you happy.’ “
*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Maddie stopped in the doorway, holding the knot of her towel to her chest. Wet strands of hair produced rivulets of water streaming down her shoulders and chest. “Like a new woman. Although, my northern skin can’t handle the tropical sun. Look at my shoulders!” Sunny’s gaze moved from one shoulder to another. Maddie was right, she was more than sun-kissed. Her shoulders practically glowed. “Oh, chica. That’s an angry burn you have there. I have some aloe —” Sunny picked up and put down five different bottles from her dressing table. “—ah, here it is. This’ll ease the pain and cut down on the peeling, too.”
Sunny flipped the top and squeezed a quarter-sized dab of the green gel into her palm. She nodded toward her bed, signaling Maddie to sit. Rubbing the aloe between her palms, she rested one knee on the bed beside her. Maddie gathered her wet hair and flipped it over her shoulder to allow Sunny access to the other. Her body shivered under Sunny’s hands.
“Sorry, this stuff’s cold. I tried to warm it up a little.”
Maddie closed her eyes and tilted her head to the side. “It’s not that. It feels good on the burn. You have a gentle touch.”
Sunny chuckled. “Scooch over a little so I can get your other side.”
Maddie shifted, lifting her feet onto the bed and tucking them under her legs Indian style. Sunny guided her head forward and massaged the aloe along the base of her neck to her shoulder blades, and down to the edge of the fluffy towel. She bent her knee, providing an anchor for Maddie to lean upon. Her inner thighs grazed the thick towel. Sunny closed her eyes and focused not only on Maddie’s sunburned skin, but also on loosening the muscles along her shoulders and upper back.
“I have a confession to make,” Maddie said quietly.
“Other than this is the best massage you’ve ever received?” Sunny snorted.
“Mmm. That too. I-I watched you last night.” Maddie went a few seconds without taking a breath.
Sunny didn’t waver. “I know you did. You were outside of my door.”
“You knew? Why didn’t you stop or say something?” Maddie kept her eyes closed but turned her head toward Sunny as she spoke.
Sunny added another dab of aloe to her palm. “I liked that you were watching me. It turned me on that you enjoyed it too.”
“Never in my life had I thought I’d be attracted, you know, sexually to a woman. It’s different with you. Many things are different with you.” Maddie’s hand trembled as she touched Sunny’s leg, tracing an imaginary line up and down her calf. The rapid rise and fall of Maddie’s back matched the pounding in Sunny’s chest.
Silence filled the room. Sunny had decided against bringing up the episode from the night before unless Maddie did. Now that it was out in the open, Sunny could find out how Maddie felt for sure. “Different, how?”
“You make me feel so focused and honest and alive. I’ve never had that with anyone else before.” Maddie turned and kneeled in front of Sunny. “Would it be forward if I asked you to kiss me?”
Sunny swallowed hard. “Yes, but I like forward,” she whispered as she cupped Maddie’s face with her palms. Dragging her thumb over Maddie’s bottom lip she realized how many times she wanted to taste her lips and explore her mouth over the past two days. Sunny lowered her face and brushed her lips once over Maddie’s. She drew back to study Maddie’s reaction.
“Again,” Maddie whispered, her eyes remained closed.
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About the Author:
Scarlet Chastain is the semi-secret pseudonym of a multi-published, best selling author of sensual erotic romance. Scarlet’s focus is female-centric sizzling stories written about women, for women.
She lives in the suburban shadows of New York City but her heart belongs to the beaches of Key West. Scarlet can usually be found in her favorite chair of her newly acquired writing cave with her maltipoo, Coco.
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